On Friday Dec. 23, Congress passed the more than 4,100-page $1.7 trillion dollar omnibus spending bill, which I am sure everyone read in great detail before they rushed to vote to get out for Christmas. After all, “War and Peace” is only 1,400-plus pages, so that means this bill is nearly three times longer than “War and Peace,” and everybody runs to read “War and Peace” – three times – right before Christmas vacation. Right?
Who knows what all is included in this bill, but one of the things we do know is that the bill contains nearly $45 billion in additional funds for Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian World Congress. What I find surprising and a little perplexing is that the Biden White House had requested only an additional $37 billion in aid for Ukraine in its appeal in November. So Ukraine is getting $8 billion more than Biden’s White House requested.
Well, it only gets worse when you try to figure out how much money we have already given to Ukraine. In one article, dated Nov. 18, 2022, it is stated that the U.S. has already given $68 billion to Ukraine, but another article, from Nov. 16, states that we have given $54 billion – but what’s the difference when we are only speaking of 14 BILLION DOLLARS – especially, among friends?
This brings the total U.S. aid to Ukraine to somewhere between $99 and $113 billion dollars, and this is in aid America alone has given to Ukraine. To put this in perspective, the Jamestown Foundation has estimated that the entire annual Russian defense spending is only $77.7 billion. We could have just bought the Russian military and saved all this carnage.
So is anybody really keeping up with all this money?
What is really disturbing is all the information on the internet about the Ukrainian president’s inner circle buying multi-million dollar mansions in Switzerland, with some of these homes costing as much as $9 million. Unfortunately, that is not all. Apparently, in the southeastern European Balkan country of Montenegro, wealthier Ukrainians are also buying beachfront property driving property values up 50%. Then there are indications of money laundering by Ukrainian oligarchs through shell companies, hiding the identity of the owners as they purchase U.S. factories and vast areas of commercial real estate, making them the largest Midwest real estate owner in the United States. In addition there are a series of articles written by Anna Myroniuk of the Kyiv Post where she reports on all the money being spent by Ukrainian oligarchs on toys, planes, posh possessions, vehicles and villas, raising the question “from where is all the money coming?” – especially in a country where the average income is $500 per month. A Politico article states that DOJ investigations have court cases around the world, from Delaware to the U.K. to Israel, that one analyst stated might be “the biggest case of money laundering in history” – but why don’t we hear about this?
Let’s focus down on President Zelensky. According to a report in the Guardian it has been said that Zelensky is under the influence of the Ukrainian billionaire Igor Kolomoisky whose TV channel aired Zelensky’s television sitcom, “Servant of the People,” where a school teacher upset about his country’s corruption accidentally runs for president and wins. It is alleged that during Zelensky’s real presidential campaign, Kolomoisky transferred $41 million to offshore firms belonging to Zelensky and his circle, including Film Heritage. It should be noted that in March of 2021 Kolomoisky was banned from entering the U.S. due to his “significant corruption.” It is also stated that besides financial support given to Zelensky during the 2019 election, Kolomoisky provided Zelensky with a car, his personal lawyer to be campaign adviser and proceeded to promote the candidacy on several media outlets he owned.
A Forbes magazine article reported that Kolomoisky had interest in obtaining a steel plant so he sent “hundreds of hired rowdies armed with baseball bats, iron bars, gas and rubber-bullet pistols and chainsaws [to] forcibly [take] over” the plant. In addition it was said that Kolomoisky put a shark in a tank in his office and “was not averse to shoving the head of a visitor in it as a reminder never to cross him.” It is also fascinating to note that according to the New York Post, part of Kolomoisky’s financial empire is Burisma Holdings, which is the Ukrainian energy company that employed Hunter Biden as a board member for $50,000 per month.
“Forbes magazine currently places Zelensky’s net worth at between $20 and $30 million,” which is far more than he could have earned as a simple TV performer and comedian. It is interesting to note that Zelensky allegedly owns lavish properties in central London, Italy and Miami Beach to which he could retire if forced to flee Ukraine.
I am sure that it is just coincidental, but once Zelensky was elected as president “he removed Kolomoisky’s opponents, the Prosecutor General, the Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, and his own prime minister, who tried to regulate Kolomoisky’s control of a state-owned electricity company.”
I thought what senior fellow Ted Carpenter of the CATO Institute said concerning Ukraine was worth repeating. He said, “[Ukraine] is not a symbol of freedom and liberal democracy, and the war is not an existential struggle between democracy and authoritarianism. At best, Ukraine is a corrupt, quasi-democratic entity with troubling repressive policies.”
So let’s see, the U.S. has given Ukraine somewhere around a $100 billion with nobody doing the accounting. Humph, with 10% for the “big guy,” that would be $10 billion. Biden just might make history again with not only getting more votes than any president in U.S. history, but also retiring from the White House on only a $200,000 presidential pension, and yet ending up being one of the top billionaires in the world.
As a taxpayer, I have one question. With all the money being spent, is it possible we could hire at least one honest accountant? Go ahead and make him a billionaire, so maybe he cannot be bought. I mean, what is another billion or so – among friends.
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